Case Study – Follow-Up



Case Study – Follow-Up

1 Year of Coaching


I thought since it was a year since I ran the competition for 3-months of free coaching, it was time to do it again…and that made me think of the last winner, who has continued on now for a year. Here’s how we got on.

To enter simply email and tell me your goal:

and I’ll enter you into the draw.


The lucky winner was someone who trained really hard but was unfortunately over-training. A typical week of training looked like this:


Summit Cycle Coaching

If you read my blog regularly, you will know is not sustainable in the long term and a plateau, over-training and stopping training are on their way soon!

I posted a progress report after about 5 months. Progress was faster than expected, even with Covid spoiling some of the fun!!

Here is what progress was made in the first 6 months:

Summit Cycle Coaching

To read the full article, click here: Case Study – When Coaching Really Counts

What Happened Next?

Letting go of high-level fitness is hard. Going into winter, knowing you are going to let yourself get less fit is tough! But you have to. The consequences if you don’t are big…and there’s no upside!! What will happen is you will be flying in Jan/Feb, but completely flat for the next race season. Motivation will be hard to come by when you need it most, and fitness gains are quite unlikely. Even maintaining can be tough.

So, that was our first challenge. It’s hard. Will the fitness ever come back?? Yes, it will, but you have to trust the process.

Endurance gains continue for many years if you periodise your training properly. It’s not one good block and a lifetime peak…you have to think short and long-term. What will get me the best out of this year and allow me to progress next year?

No – ‘6-WEEKS TO PERFECT ABS’ type plans are ever going to work!!



The last big push of 2022 came with a week’s training in Majorca. Long hilly rides, and luckily, given the previous bad luck with goals earlier in the year, all was good.

An incredible week, unthinkable 6 months before!!

To even do a week like that and cope with it, you need really good base fitness. No 6-week plan in a magazine is getting you there!! To say I was proud would be an understatement.


Lactate Testing

New to my coaching strategy was the addition of lactate testing for my riders. It’s been a real boost to understanding exactly what is going on with the riders.

Here’s how the first test went:

Summit Cycle Coaching

So, when we did this one, we were still in pretty good form from the season. The weather had stayed nice, and so the long rides continued later into the year. Though this wasn’t peak form, it wouldn’t have been far off.

What you can see is though we’ve made loads of progress, LT1 is up, LT2 is up…there are still elements remaining of the over-training days. Lactate climbs more or less from the off and is never down in the mid/low 1 mmol.l range, where we would like to see it. Still a lot of development available for the aerobic system, I think, which is great news.

So What Did We do with the Data?

The lactate testing data was really insightful. Gave us some really clear guidance on what the focus of the training plan should be.

So a lot of the winter was focused on pulling the bottom of the curve down. Easy rides, not too much high-intensity work, and we opted to work a bit on increasing cadence range too…

Winter is a perfect time for that kind of work!

Though it may sound a bit boring, I think if you have a real purpose and a real belief in what you are doing and that the training is productive, every session is rewarding.

Also, there’s nowhere to hide…another lactate test is not far away!!

Lactate Test 2

I changed the protocol for the second test, so a direct comparison isn’t easy. However, the new protocol allowed me to use physiological modelling to get a deeper understanding, and I’m very happy we did.


Summit Cycle Coaching

Though there were signs in the training that things were improving, the lactate testing still suggested more needed to be done at the lower end. The physiological modelling also confirmed this.

Though this is right in the middle of winter, the numbers look good and very happy with where we are. More low intensity is required!

The weather was rubbish for a good while from here, so plenty of easy turbo sessions were easy to fit in.

Lactate Test 3

It was only a few weeks ago we did the most recent testing. It was while we were doing that we realised it had been a whole year working together 🙂

This time the same protocol as test 2, looking for that lower end to be improved!!


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Looks good at first glance…here’s a comparison with last time.

Much better! Though I think this will still improve further, this is very encouraging and since we are still in March, the numbers look great with much more to come!

So What’s Changed?

I think we’ve covered a fair bit about how the lactate profile has changed very positively. But there are more changes that are really important too. Firstly, we’ve learned a lot!! Not just on the bike, managing things off the bike, and fuelling, just to name two.

Now the weather is a bit better, the longer rides have started again. This gives us a chance to see how things are going in the real world.

What’s most encouraging about this is when the rider texts me and says they were surprised at how well they are going…this is really satisfying and very rewarding. Base Training Works!

The heart rate on group rides is continuing to come down. So more and more time is being spent in Z1. This is great news, not only is this improving the base, but it’s also costing us less and so recovery is quicker, and more training can be done….It’s a win, win, win.

This Years Goals

This season’s goals are split into two parts:

  1. Time Trialling
  2. Sportives and the new longest ride

Time Trials

The time trials are still very much in the learning phase. The first 10-miler was done at the end of last year (28:10 on a road bike), so the first goal will be to beat that. Then we are looking at going sub-27 minutes, which I think is a tough but fair target, which is the essence of a good goal.

We are in a nice build, and part of that build will be the early season TT’s that are in April. This will be a great chance to learn and get used to the time trial effort as well as getting some solid threshold efforts in the process.

Long Rides and Sportives

This encompasses a lot, and the final plan is still a work in progress as it depends on lots of things that aren’t all in our control. But a sub-6 hour 100 miler and a longest ever ride of 132 miles are on the cards.

There’s also another week of crazy training volume abroad on the horizon, this time in the Alps, but I think having seen the efforts in Majorca last Autumn, I’m pretty confident this will be an amazing and successful week. Though, as always with these, it’s a big hole to climb out of after!! But well worth it for the experience.



It’s not all been plain sailing. Life is rarely that straightforward. But being flexible with the plan and training at the right intensities has made it a very productive winter.

I think we are set up for a great season with this base of fitness, and who would have thought a year on from entering the competition would have led here!

For a chance to start your journey with 3-months of free coaching, enter this year’s competition here:

Simply email me and tell me your goal to enter:

A simple email is all you need…GOOD LUCK 🙂



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